Apparently I offended Stanford fans yesterday by saying I don't think the Cardinal can go undefeated -- which was promptly followed by the fact that I don't think any team in the Pac-12 can go undefeated. Sounds like a good poll question for later today -- can anyone go undefeated in 2013? For now, enjoy the chat highlights or click here to see the entire chat.
Trojan1981 (Edinburgh): With 38 conference championships under their belt, nobody can reasonably dispute that USC is a "traditional powerhouse"; but do any of the other teams in the PAC 12 meet the definition?
Kevin Gemmell (2:02 PM): Hey, Trojan 1981 to start us off. How about that. USC certainly has a nice advantage in overall titles. But UCLA has 17, Washington 15, Stanford and Cal at 13 apiece. I guess it depends on your definition of "traditional" power, but I think you could make an argument for UCLA and certainly Stanford and Oregon are on the rise.
John (Mountain View, CA): Kevin, after covering the program for a year, you probably know this -- what was the demand for Mike Bloomgren among college and pro teams? There was a report that USC was attempting to hire him as well as contact from other schools and the NFL. How hot a commodity is he now? What are the chances he follows in the footsteps of other Stanford OCs and get an NFL OC gig or college head-coaching job after next year?
Kevin Gemmell (2:07 PM): I don't know how much of a demand there was from the NFL. I can tell you he's extremely well-respected among his peers in the league and he was the natural choice for the job. [Head coach David] Shaw clearly recognized that. I know he spent four seasons with the Jets and he and [UCLA offensive coordinator] Noel Mazzone became good friends during that time and Noel can't stop raving about him. Give him a couple of seasons before we start talking about him moving up. But he certainly is one of the brighter pro-style minds in the country.
The Intern (Andrew) (Office, Couch): Can we expect [Taylor] Kelly to start for ASU next year? any chance for the other guys? Or maybe back to 2 QB system?
Kevin Gemmell (2:12 PM): [Todd] Graham strikes me as a smart coach. And a smart coach doesn't sit guys as efficient as Kelly was this year. I see no reason why he wouldn't be the starter. That's not to say they won't keep working in [Michael] Eubank or if Kelly falters, we could see a switch. But based on his performance last year, he's earned the right to be the starter through good times and bad.
Haggmark (San Francisco): Lame excuses aside, how many wins does [Lane] Kiffin have to get to keep his job in 2014. Does one embarrassing loss seal the deal?
Kevin Gemmell (2:19 PM): I think if he can get to 8-9 wins without any of the off-field issues, that would probably be enough considering the sanctions he has to deal with. But seven wins coupled with another off-field incident probably would be the end.
Mario (Tah): OSU: Blip in 2012 or sign of things to come?
Kevin Gemmell (2:35 PM): I think a sign of things to come. That offensive line should get better, good skill players in the pipeline and the coaching staff has been one of the best in the country in terms of continuity.
cougarbrian's little brother (PDX): Who will win the Apple Cup next year?
Kevin Gemmell (2:39 PM): I would say Washington based on the talent coming back. But I would have said Washington this year based on the talent they had (wait, I did say say Washington in my predictions. Thanks a lot Dawgs).
SEC fan (The dirty south): What are the chances the Pac-12 catches up to us for best conference in the country and steals the NC from us?
Kevin Gemmell (2:40 PM): I think Oregon is the only team that could legitimately make a run at the national championship next year. I think Stanford is going to be outstanding, but I just don't know where the points are going to come from. I see them being in a lot of close games again next year. As far as "best conference," teams like Oregon State and UCLA need to step up when the spotlight is on them for the conference to be respected in terms of its depth.
Bill (Denver): Time for a token CU question..... Can you say something nice about the Buffs?
Kevin Gemmell (2:48 PM): Best mascot entrance in college football -- hands down. But in all seriousness, I like the young QBs, I like the move to the pistol and I like that the coaching staff -- though they are new -- has worked together for a few years. The Embree crew was still learning to work together. I think four wins next year is realistic and a bowl game in three years makes sense.
Drake (San Jose): Stanford has to replace very little compared to what they did when Andrew and Co. left. This is why I think you shouldn't be saying they can't run the table. BTW, their offense this year was mediocre and they still should have won all 12 games. Yes I'm still mad about notre dame.
Kevin Gemmell (2:51 PM): I don't think any Pac-12 teams can run the table. Not just Stanford. Going undefeated in this day and age is so hard to do. Has nothing to do with Stanford being Stanford. It's just plain hard. With that said, [Kevin] Hogan (and [Josh] Nunes) at least had [Zach] Ertz, [Levine] Toilolo and a 1,000-yard rusher in [Stepfan] Taylor to work with. Now you're taking all of that out of the equation? That's a ton of offense to replace.
Carson (Seattle WA): Where do you see UW in your preseason polls next season?
Kevin Gemmell (2:58 PM): Hovering around 25 ... not sure if I'm going to include them (though I did last year, again, thanks Dawgs). I know Ted is very high on them and will probably have them in his preseason top 25.